Australia has extensive hot granites and suitable geological formations that can be used for heating, cooling and to generate electricity.
Geothermal energy directly under Perth is already being used to heat some of Perth’s swimming pools, such as Challenge Stadium. The University of Western Australia is planning to convert its air-conditioning systems to use this source.
In the Cooper Basin in South Australia, Geodynamics Australia is demonstrating the use of deeper ‘hot rocks’ 3–5 km under ground. The rock is fractured hydraulically and water is pumped down and circulated repeatedly, transferring heat to the surface with each circulation to generate electricity.
Geodynamics Australia estimates that geothermal energy could provide all of Australia’s electricity needs for 22,000 years. In the Cooper Basin, the Habanero field alone could produce 10,000 MW of base-load power, equivalent to the SWIS peak demand nearly three times over. Exploration of WA’s hot granite rocks is in the early stages.
1. Geodynamics Australia website
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